Letter from Tunnard Dickinson in Ohio

I was recently sent a copy of this letter from Tunnard Dickinson to his parents in 1849. Tunnard was farming in Oxford, Ohio. As far as possible I have transcribed it as it was written, including his errors of spelling and total lack of punctuation. There are a few sections, especially the place names, which are difficult to read, and they are indicated by question marks. Question marks in brackets indicate that the preceding word is not certain; question marks without brackets indicate a missing word which is undecipherable.

1849 January 28th Oxford Ohio

Dear parents and Brothers i now send you a few more lines hopeing to find you all in good health as we are at the present thank god for it we now live on Audreys farm where we have bee two years come the first day of April next when we move to a new farm that i took yesterday i would have wrote sooner had i known were we was going to so that i could have sent you directions our new farm is about 7 miles of this near a place known by the name of Hunts corners Three miles west of Monroville There is a new road from hunts Corners to Milan more with plank Just like your barn floor so that we can take any load we like to put on a wagon without any trouble to our team There is toal gates put up on the way we pay 10 cents loaded and 5 empty 2 cents horse back when we get moved we shall bee about one mile ½ from Fred Coopers the farm i have now took used to be owned by Doctor Prouty (?) when William was at ??? ??? he is now dead and the farm is sold to a man by the name of Bante (?) my landlord the farm is about 70 acres it is as good a farm as any about there well fenced high dry land with good barn and Orchard and pasture i am going to plant 50 acres of indian Corn it is the best crop in this Country i raised 55 bushell to an acre this year i have now sold 400 bushells for three shillings per bushel Arthur has sold 95 the same way my wheat 11 acres crop I lost entirely the fly eat it up just before harvest with a great deal more spring wheat it is a poor crop on the pararie but the timbered land is as sure of a crop of winter wheat as your land is but the corn crop is the crop for a poor man there is no cash lays on it as there is on wheat one bushel will plant 8 acres of land and the work comes when labour is Cheapest the crop is sure i raised 130 bushells of potatos on an acre this year and sold them that i had to spare for 50 cents per bushell that is better than any of my nabors did I told them it was a poor crop the rot is about a Dead amongst the potatos but it is not in mine my oats yealded rather poor 30 bushells per acre we are getting on well and the longer we stay here the more we like it there is a many in England forms a wrong idea of this Country if they know half how it is they would sell the shirts of their backs to get here William knows but verry little more about it then if he had never been here any man that will eat when the bread is put in his mouth can live but there is some that cant live here because they wont try our Cow calved last night we have lost a 2 year old heffer this summer on the pararie but the good luck weighs down the bad we have got three horses good ones two plenty of farming tools we killed about 45 stone of pork this winter i have bought 18 gallons of liquor for my next summers work as i shall have to hire some help we have got 150 dollars on hand for our Corn and are out of debt) if you can see Robert Lawrance tell him that Caleb Cooper has been to the Mexican war and he says that he has seen Thos Lawrence there but he would not own it ??? him and he Died there a natural death all over towns folks is well and ??? to please to go to Mr Platts and tell him we have wrote for 3 times without any answer and we want to know if they mean to write any more to us we have had a letter from Thos Platt he was at new York with Passengers from Germany we rote to him to Quebec but have not heard from him since give our love to them all tell them we should be glad to hear from them if they will pleaseto write Thomas he and Arthur lives at Monroville Henry lives at Mansfield Mary and Hannah has each a baby Marys born in July last a boy Wm Henry name Hannahs born in harvest a girl Margret Jane name We would like to see you all but we expect we never shall so we must be content ourselves without our love to you all we remain your son and daughter Tunnard and Mary Ann Dickinson)

Remember us to all aquaintence

Direct for me your letter to the monroville poast office being the nearest

Give Mr Platt the right Directions

William Dickinson
Near Boston
Old England

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Updated 21 February, 2005